Gambia opposition demands President Jammeh hand over power

Reuters News
|
Posted: Dec 12, 2016 7:24 AM

BANJUL (Reuters) - The opposition coalition of Gambian president-elect Adama Barrow on Monday called for President Yahya Jammeh, who lost an election on Dec. 1, to step down immediately and hand over power.

Following the announcement of Barrow's shock victory, Jammeh quickly conceded defeat. However, in an about-face on Friday that drew international condemnation, the former coup leader denounced the results.

Jammeh plans to contest his election defeat at the Supreme Court, the ruling party said on Saturday.

"We demand that outgoing President Jammeh immediately step down and hand over power," opposition coalition representative Mai Ahmad Fatty said in a statement read to reporters in the capital Banjul.

Before his surprise change of mind, Jammeh had pledged to hand over power to Barrow in January following the transitional period dictated by Gambian law.

Gambia has no sitting Supreme Court. In order to hear Jammeh's complaint, legal experts believe at least four judges must be hired.

"We do not recognize that the outgoing president has the constitutional authority in the last days of his presidency, to appoint any Supreme Court judges in the Gambia for the purpose of receiving his petition," Fatty said.

(Reporting by Edward McAllister; Writing by Joe Bavier, Editing by Angus MacSwan)